Jackie and Artie Ch. 01byGoodhusband©
I knew it wasn't. Jackie's conversation with Ron while I was getting into the shower had made that perfectly clear. I'd also noticed things, signs that suggested that Jackie had been playing around with other men for several years. That and the gossip I'd heard while we were engaged had me convinced that Jackie had been unfaithful to me since we met.
Jackie didn't know that I'd overheard her conversation with Ron and insomuch as I'd never mentioned my suspicions about her behavior since we were married or the rumors I'd heard before we were married; Jackie didn't know how much I already knew. My question was an attempt to establish whether or not she was now willing to be truthful with me.
Alarm flashed through Jackie's eyes and then she looked down at the floor. It was apparent that she was trying to avoid my gaze while she decided just how much she dared to admit.
Not wanting her to fail this test, I decided to help her. "Jackie, I already know more than you think I know. I believe I can forgive your infidelity. Lying is much harder to forgive."
Looking up at me, Jackie said; "If I tell you the truth I know you'll leave me."
"That may or may not be true, but if I discover that you're continuing to lie to me you can be certain that I will divorce you."
Jackie considered that. After a moment I saw her eyes light up with a glimmer of hope. Staring at me, she said; "You wouldn't dare divorce me. This is a no fault divorce state. I'm the girl's mother; I'll get custody of the children. You'll have to pay child support. I remind you that you're just a teacher. The payments would bankrupt you."
Both shocked and hurt that Jackie would take that position, I stood up. Barely able to contain my anger, I said; "If I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I never would have believed that you cared so little about our marriage or our children that you'd threaten me like that. All I was asking you to do was tell me the truth. Apparently that's something you're not capable of doing. I'll move down to the basement tonight. You get your lawyer and I'll get mine. I suspect that you may learn that your position isn't quite as inviolate as you seem to think it is. I remind you that I worked and took care of the girls while you were going to law school. I may be just a teacher and not a big time lawyer like you, but I believe that it's very likely that the courts will view your law degree as our community property. I can also easily establish that I have always been and continue to be the girl's primary care giver. When it comes to the question of custody, that may be a more important issue than our respective genders."
Seething with anger, I turned, stormed out of the living room and walked directly to our bedroom where I began gathering together my clothes so that I could move to the small guest bedroom we'd built next to the basement recreation room.
I'd just finished packing my socks and underwear when I heard a knock on the door. I turned. Jackie was standing in the doorway.
She asked, "May I come in?"
"What's stopping you? This afternoon you clearly established that this room is your personal playground." My voice was dripping with sarcasm.
We stared at each other.
After a moment she said; "I want to apologize for what I just said to you in the living room. It was a stupid threat. Please believe me when I say that I didn't mean it."
"Then why did you say it?"
"I was desperate. Artie, I've been a terrible wife. When you learn the truth, I'm sure you'll divorce me immediately."
"So you were trying to avoid having to tell me the truth?"
"Yes. Artie I love you and I do understand and appreciate everything you've done for me. I would never try to hurt you in a divorce and I would never dream of doing anything that would separate you from our girls."
Smiling at Jackie, I said; "I believe you. That's why your words were such a shock. You may have been unfaithful to me, but I can't believe that you would ever try to hurt either me or the girls."
Jackie shook her head. "I wouldn't, I couldn't."
"I know that. I could never do anything that would hurt you either and no matter what you've done or what happens to us, I will never try to keep the girls away from you."
"Thank you Artie." Jackie paused. After a moment she said; "Artie."
"I wasn't trying to denigrate your profession when I said you were just a teacher. I really wasn't. I was only trying to make a point about your ability to make child support payments. It was a stupid point. I so wish I could take those words back."
"It's okay; I understand why you said them. I've already forgiven you."
Smiling at me, Jackie said; "Thank you again Artie."
I smiled back at Jackie and sat down on the bed. "So, are you ready to tell me the truth?"
Jackie's smile vanished. "Do I have to?"
"Yes, you have to." I patted the spot on the bed next to me. "Sit down, it's time."
"Artie, you'll hate me."
"I might be angry with you, but I'll never hate you."
"I promise." I patted the bed again. "Now come over here and sit down."
"Okay." Jackie sat down next to me.
There was silence.
Finally I said; "It's time."
"This is hard."
"So was walking into our bedroom and finding you with that guy this afternoon."
"You're right. Okay." Jackie took a deep breath. "Artie, I'm a..." She stopped herself in mid-sentence and then after a brief pause she continued; "Let's just say that I'm a woman who freely enjoys men."
I nodded. "Go on."
"So are my mother and my sister. It seems to run in our family. You know that my mother's been divorced twice."
"My dad and her second husband both threw her out because she kept cheating on them."
"I didn't know that."
"We don't talk about it much."
"I suppose not."
"My sister has never married because she knows she could never be faithful to one man."
"So what about you? You did get married."
"Yes I did."
"Do you really have to ask?"
"Today I think I do."
"I fell in love."
"But you still cheated on me."
"Yes, I did."
"When did you start?"
"That's not a fair question."
"It happened gradually."
"I don't understand."
"Well, at first we were just dating and I kept seeing other guys. It didn't seem like a big deal."
"When you say seeing other guys, don't you really mean you were fucking them?"
"Yes. Artie, that's exactly what I was doing and that's all I was doing. I was just fucking them."
"Please explain that."
"To my mother, my sister and me; sex is nothing more than a form of recreation like golf or tennis."
"Golf or tennis?"
"Yes, it's just a physical act."
"For many people sex is an intimate expression of love between a man and a woman."
"So is kissing and I've seen you kiss your Aunt Edie's friend Myrtle. Do you love her?"
"That's a ridiculous analogy."
"Is it? When we sit on the couch together watching television late at night you often put your arm around me and hold me. I think that's one of the most romantic things we do. We're just watching television, but we're in love so watching television together becomes a wonderfully romantic act. Artie, watching television on the couch isn't romantic; the fact that we love each other is what makes it romantic."
"But being in love is what makes sex special."
"Of course being in love makes sex special; being in love makes everything special. Being in love makes watching television special; but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy watching television with someone you don't love. Watching television with someone you just met can be fun too. It isn't as much fun as watching television with someone you love, but it's still fun."
"If you're in love with someone, why would you want to watch television with someone else?"
"Variety is one reason. Watching television with someone new is not just fun, it's exciting. Also some people are extremely talented at watching television. They may not necessarily be good mates, but they're outstanding television partners. Occasionally it's fun to watch television with one of those people."
"I think it's time to drop the euphemisms. You're telling me that you enjoy having a variety of sex partners and that some partners are better than others."
"Yes, I'm sorry Artie, but that's exactly what I'm saying."
"Don't you think you should have told me that before we got married?"
"If I'd told you, would you have married me? Be honest."
I looked into Jackie's eyes and said; "I'm not sure, probably not, but maybe I would have. I did kind of know."
"You kind of knew, what do you mean?"
"There was an overlap in our circle of friends. People dropped hints."
"Yes, I never thought about that, but now that you say it I realize it was true. We did have some common friends and I'm sure they did talk. Why didn't you ever confront me about what I was doing?"
"Because then I would have known for sure. That would have made it much harder for me to ignore it. I've always loved you and I've always wanted to be with you. It was easier to pretend I didn't know."
"That must have been difficult for you. I'm sorry I put you in that position. I was stupid. I never really thought about the consequences of my actions."
Jackie thought for a moment and then she asked, "Do you really think there was a chance you might have still married me if I'd told you?"
"Yes, but actually it's more likely now than it was then."
This was going to be difficult, but I knew it was something I both had to explain and desperately wanted to explain. Closing my eyes, I took a moment to gather my courage and then I said; "While I chose to ignore the rumors I heard during our engagement; they did create suspicions, suspicions that were difficult to ignore."
"Yes, I'm sure they did. Artie I really am sorry about that. I was stupid and narcissistic."
"It's okay, it was just as much my fault as yours. I could have confronted you."
Jackie shook her head. She didn't fully accept that assertion.
Noticing, Jackie asked; "Artie, what's wrong?"
"This is kind of hard to admit."
"Sweetheart, you don't have anything to be ashamed about. You've been a prince. I'm the one who's acted badly."
"That isn't completely true."
"What do you mean? Artie did you cheat too?"
"No, of course not."
"Then what did you do that you think was so bad?"
Ashamed and overwhelmed with anxiety, I stared at Jackie. She met my gaze and smiled. It was a gentle reassuring smile.
Her smile gave me enough confidence to proceed. I said; "The suspicions I had while we were engaged were hard to ignore."
"Artie I really am sorry."
"No, it's okay; it really is, just let me finish."
"When we were apart, I kept picturing you with other guys."
"Artie, that must have been awful for you. I'll never be able to forgive myself for being so callous."
"No please, it really was okay." And then I blurted it out. "Jackie it excited me."
"What? I don't understand."
"Imagining you with other guys excited me."
Jackie stared at me. After a moment she said; "Really?"
"Yes." And then I quietly added, "Admitting that to you is unbelievably embarrassing."
Jackie continued staring at me. Finally she said, "Yes, I imagine it is." Her tone of voice was devoid of emotion giving her a statement a sense of detachment or even worse, distaste.
Already embarrassed by my frank admission, I interpreted Jackie's words as an expression of pity and disgust. Utterly shamed, anger welled up inside of me. I stood. Lashing out in defense, I said; "Yes, well now that you know that you're married to a pervert wimp you can feel free to dump me without guilt." And then I turned. As I stormed out of our bedroom I called back to Jackie; "You're a lawyer, get it done quickly and in the future please spare me your pity and disgust."
I retreated to the spare bedroom in the basement. As soon as I was safely inside my refuge I closed and locked the door, sat down on the bed and buried my face in my hands. I was utterly humiliated. I was also convinced that I'd lost Jackie. It was clear to me that I was now an object of ridicule to her. I cringed as I imagined her laughing hysterically while she told Ron about my pathetic confession.
As I sat on the bed wallowing in my misery, I heard footsteps on the stairs. Realizing that it was Jackie I waited, bracing for more abuse.
After a moment there was a knock on the door. I didn't respond. There was a pause and then Jackie tried opening the door. Finding it locked, she said; "Artie, please let me in, please let me talk to you."
Jackie waited for me to answer. When I didn't she said; "Artie, you misinterpreted what I said. When I told you that I understood that your admission was embarrassing, I wasn't judging you, I was only trying to commiserate with you. I was trying to let you know that I understood how difficult that admission must have been for you. Sweetheart, I do not pity you and you certainly don't disgust me. Artie honey, you are the love of my life. I can't bear the thought of living without you. Please let me in so we can discuss this.
I understood immediately. I had totally misinterpreted Jackie's comment and now that I did understand I felt foolish. Too embarrassed to speak; I stood up, walked over to the door and unlocked it.
Opening the door, Jackie walked directly over to me, threw her arms around my shoulders, pulled me tightly to her and said; "Damn it Artie, I love you. You are the man of my dreams and you always will be. It now appears that we're a couple of perverts, me more than you, but so what! We love each other and as far as I'm concerned that's all that matters." Stepping back, Jackie looked into my eyes and asked; "What about you?"
Laughing, I said; "I think I may be a bigger pervert than you are, but yes I do love you and all I want out of life is to be able to stay with you, so if you're willing to put up with a husband who's a pathetic wimp, I'm yours."
Jackie laughed. "Can you tolerate being married to a shameless slut?"
"Tolerate it? Hell, I can't think of anything I'd like more."
Staring at me, Jackie paused for a moment and then she asked, "Are you sure?"
I nodded. "Absolutely positive."
Jackie grinned. "Artie I'm so sorry I lied to you and hid part of my life from you."
"You didn't know. I do understand why you were afraid to tell me and honestly I have to admit that if you had confessed everything seven years ago, I'm not sure how I would have reacted. We might not be married and we wouldn't have Cassandra and Monica."
Suddenly a question occurred to me and I blanched. It was a question of staggering importance.
Recognizing the apprehension in my eyes and understanding immediately, Jackie said; "Yes, they are yours."
"How can you be sure?"
"I was always certain about Monica. At the time she was conceived you were the only one." Looking at me Jackie said, "That really is true Artie."
Jackie continued. "Cassandra worried me, but not a lot. When she was conceived you were the only one who was doing me bareback. The other guys all had to wear condoms."
"Thank you for that consideration."
"Are you being sarcastic?"
"I'm sorry, getting used to all of this is going to take a little time."
I smiled and then I asked, "You said you were worried, why?"
"Condoms aren't perfect."
"I see, so actually we don't know for sure."
"Yes we do. I had to be positive. Artie I really do love you. The fear that Cassandra might not be your child was tearing me apart. A year ago I brought her to her doctor along with a lock of your hair and asked for a genetic test. They weren't surprised. Apparently this is a common request. Anyway, Cassandra is definitely your daughter. If you'd like to see it, I still have the clinic report."
"No that's okay, I believe you and thank you, I do appreciate your concern and your effort."
Jackie stared at me.
I watched her, after a moment I asked; "What?"
She said, "This is going to take some time, isn't it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Artie, I love you more than anyone on the face of this planet. You shouldn't have to thank me for my concern or my effort. That should be assumed."
Grinning at Jackie, I said; "I just admitted to being a pervert and you just admitted to being a slut. It doesn't matter, I love you every bit as much as I've always loved you and I want to believe that you love me just as much as you've always loved me. The problem we face is that we have to convince ourselves of that fact. It's going to take me some time to believe that you're still willing to love me when you know that I'm really a cuckold wimp."
"And it's going to take me some time to accept that even though I'm a lying slut, you still love me."
"I have a suggestion."
"What is it?"
"New pet names, maybe not in front of the kids, but when we're alone."
"What are they?"
"Mine should be wimp."
Understanding, Jackie laughed and said; "And mine should be slut."
Jackie sat down on the bed and pulled me down so I was sitting next to her. Once we were both settled, she asked; "So what do we do now?"
Smiling, I said; "I think we have to spend a little time getting to know each others secret side."
"If we do that, we're going to have to trust each other. If I tell you about everything I've done I'm terrified that you'll leave me."
"And I'm afraid you'll be disgusted when you find out how much of a wimp I really am."
Jackie laughed. "I think that was a good start."
"What do you mean?"
"We're both afraid and a little ashamed about revealing our kinkier sides. Admitting that to each other is a good beginning."
"You know what's funny?"
"I think we complement each other perfectly. Getting together was the luckiest thing that's ever happened to either of us."
"You were born to be a hot wife and I was born to be your cuckold husband."
"Hot wife and cuckold husband, you say them like they're common terms."
"In the cuckold fantasy world they are."
"The cuckold fantasy world? What's that?"
"On the Internet."
"On the Internet? Really?"
"Yes, there are a number of sites devoted to the cuckold hot wife life style on the Internet."
"I've heard the word cuckold before."
"Yes, in college. It's used in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales"."
"Isn't it archaic?"
"It was, but not anymore."
"So exactly what does it mean?"
"It's the name for a man whose wife sleeps with other men."
"So you're a cuckold."
"And you don't object to that title."
"Now we're getting back into embarrassing admissions again."
"You're the one who demanded the truth."
"Okay,no; I don't object to the title, in fact it excites me."
"Please don't get mad. I'm not judging you when I say this."
"Okay..." There was a tone of guarded skepticism in my voice.
"Artie, I'm really not, but you have to understand that it's a little hard for me to believe what you're telling me."
"Do you think I'm lying to you?"
"No, no! Not at all, it's just that...Well I don't think most men would react that way."
"At first it was a little difficult for me to accept it too. I tried so hard to squash those feelings. It didn't matter, they kept coming back. Jackie, I can't explain it. I know it's not natural, but that is how I react. I've learned to accept it and if we're going to stay together you're going to have to learn to accept it too."
Slowly nodding, Jackie said; "A moment ago I told you that I wasn't judging you and I'm not." She laughed. "Hell, I'd be a fool to do that. This makes you the perfect husband for me."
I grinned at her.
She grinned back and then she said; "I'd also be a fraud. Who am I to judge you? I'm a slut, a married, cheating slut with the finest husband in the entire world. Why do I keep taking my panties off for other guys? Explain that one."